How to Set Up a Simple WiFi Hotspot System in Your Coffee Shop

What exactly is WiFi Hotspot?

A Wireless Hotspot is an area that has WiFi gain access to the Internet. The definition of Hotspot is now used interchangeably for the both the area where the signal is available and the device (WiFi Router or WiFi Access Point) that is broadcasting the signal. Likewise the conditions “WiFi Router” and “WiFi Access Point” (AP) are often used interchangeably. netgear nighthawk router

Just how to buy and system a WiFi Router.

The advantage of setting up a Hotspot System in a Coffee shop is that normally one Wi-fi router will take care of the entire building so it’s not too complex to set-up. Cellular routers can now be purchased for about $50 so setting up a Killer spot doesn’t need to be expensive. The sole other thing you would require is a DSL or cable connection to your shop. According to where you live these normally cost around $30/mo. 

How to control access.

The least difficult way to setup a Hotspot is to placed the router wireless security settings as “Disabled” or “Open”. That would allow everyone access, but how can you control how much bandwidth a customer uses or how long they spend online?

One option would be to established a WPA or WEP key on the router and give that to customers. That would stop people in the neighborhood using your connection but would not allow you setting time limits about how long your customers could spend online.

In order to do that you will have to have a hosted or stand alone “Captive Portal” this is a specially modified WiFi router that appears as an Start or Unencrypted WiFi indication then again redirects any traffic to an unique web site called a “Splash Page” where your often asked to login or purchase internet access.

Hosted attentive portals are often provided free of charge to business owners in exchange for a share of the income from the hotspot. Which has a hosted solution your customer gets rerouted to the servers of the WiFi Company and has to pay for Access to the internet online. Standalone captive websites are normally sold downright to the business owner and allow one to generate tickets, which you can sell (or give) to customers. Each plane ticket allows Access to the internet for a described amount of time. A good thing to do is to give your customer a free 30-min solution with the first espresso they buy, then if they want to stay online longer they need to come back to the counter and buy another ticket, yet another coffee: )